Professor Brett Rogers has been taking his students to Greece for years. In May of this year, he led a trip designed for alumni and friends.
“Boarding a boat in Greece is like nothing you’ve ever experienced,” Professor Brett Rogers tells the bus passengers. “As soon as they lower the gangplank, it’s a mad dash. Hang onto your suitcase and just get on the boat!”
Rogers, a professor in the Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean studies program, gives a bracing smile from the front of the bus as it winds its way down to the port of Thira, on the island of Santorini. Over years of guiding student trips, he’s learned the usefulness of being transparent about the experience you’re about to have.
Rogers was at the helm of a Puget Sound-sponsored trip in Greece this past May, and on that particular day the group was scheduled to take a high-speed ferry to Heraklion, on the island of Crete. After disembarking, Rogers counted off the 24 travelers—alumni, faculty, trustees, parents of recent grads—doing it in Greek, naturally. It was only Day Three, but Rogers noticed an almost family-like camaraderie had already formed among the group, similar to the bond he sees among students.
Rogers had kicked around the idea of an alumni trip for years. “We’re one of the few universities to have an ancient Greek motto,” he says. “If we’re going to the heights—pros ta akra—a hell of a way to do it is by going to the Acropolis.”